Renewed shutdowns of car plants around the previously expected Brexit date of 31 October contributed to a further decline in UK car manufacturing in November.
Output slumped by 16.5% compared with the same month a year earlier, with 107,753 units produced, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
UK car production has fallen for 17 of the past 18 months and dropped by 14.5% during the first 11 months of the year, as the industry continued to face a series of challenges, including weaker consumer and business confidence domestically, lower demand from overseas markets and a slump in sales of diesel vehicles.
This was the second stoppage in a year for some plants, following the first in April around Britain’s original scheduled EU departure date, which led to a 44.5% production fall that month. The SMMT has calculated the cost to carmakers of implementing Brexit contingency measures to be more than £500m.
About 80% of cars made in the UK are exported, with the EU still the largest overseas market and destination for more than half of exports. The UK car industry employs more than 800,000 people and wants to work with the new government “to deliver an ambitious trade deal with the EU”, said the SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes.
He added: “To ensure our…